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Siegbert Tarrasch
Number of games in database: 945
Years covered: 1879 to 1933
Overall record: +441 -202 =256 (63.3%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games
      Based on games in the database; may be incomplete.
      46 exhibition games, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 Ruy Lopez (123) 
    C77 C67 C84 C66 C65
 French Defense (59) 
    C11 C10 C14 C01 C12
 Four Knights (39) 
    C49 C47 C48
 French (37) 
    C11 C10 C12 C00 C13
 Queen's Pawn Game (25) 
    D02 D05 A46 E10 A40
 Orthodox Defense (25) 
    D55 D53 D64 D63 D61
With the Black pieces:
 Ruy Lopez (98) 
    C67 C77 C83 C80 C82
 French Defense (50) 
    C00 C01 C12 C11 C14
 French (33) 
    C00 C12 C11 C13
 Sicilian (33) 
    B40 B45 B23 B34 B24
 Tarrasch Defense (31) 
    D32 D34 D33
 Ruy Lopez, Open (30) 
    C83 C80 C82
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   Nimzowitsch vs Tarrasch, 1914 0-1
   Tarrasch vs Romberg, 1893 1-0
   Tarrasch vs Allies, 1914 1-0
   Tarrasch vs E Thorold, 1890 1-0
   Tarrasch vs Reti, 1922 1-0
   Tarrasch vs K Eckart, 1889 1-0
   Lasker vs Tarrasch, 1914 1/2-1/2
   Tarrasch vs G Marco, 1892 1-0
   Spielmann vs Tarrasch, 1923 0-1
   Tarrasch vs Von Scheve, 1894 1-0

WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: [what is this?]
   Lasker - Tarrasch World Championship Match (1908)

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   9th DSB Kongress, Leipzig (1894)
   Breslau (1889)
   Vienna (1898)
   Monte Carlo (1903)
   Marshall - Tarrasch (1905)
   Ostend (Championship) (1907)
   Ostend (1905)
   Hamburg (1885)
   Hastings (1895)
   Nuremberg (1896)
   18th DSB Kongress (1912)
   San Sebastian (1912)
   Vienna (1922)
   Monte Carlo (1902)
   Semmering (1926)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   Tarrasch's Dreihundert Schachpartien by Honza Cervenka
   Tarrasch's Best Games of Chess. Part I. by Dr. Siggy
   good games by sk.sen
   Praeceptor Mundi by chocobonbon
   Tarrasch's Best Games of Chess. Part III. by Dr. Siggy
   Vienna 1898 by suenteus po 147
   Monte Carlo 1903 by suenteus po 147
   Ostend 1905 by suenteus po 147
   Odds games by WhiteRook48
   Match Chigorin! by amadeus
   Chigorin - Tarrasch (match) by Akavall
   Tarrasch's Best Games of Chess. Part II. by Dr. Siggy
   99_Ostende A 1907 (Champion Tourn. to play Laske by whiteshark
   Garry Kasparov on My Great Predecessors Part 1 by MetalPlastic

   Lasker vs Tarrasch, 1914
   M Porges vs Lasker, 1896
   Lasker vs Tarrasch, 1914
   Tarrasch vs Von Scheve, 1894
   Lasker vs Tarrasch, 1896

Search Sacrifice Explorer for Siegbert Tarrasch
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(born Mar-05-1862, died Feb-17-1934, 71 years old) Germany

[what is this?]
Siegbert Tarrasch was born in Breslau. At 15, he learned the game of chess, and he shot to prominence quickly, winning four consecutive international tournaments such as Breslau (1889), Manchester in 1890 ( ), Dresden (1892) and Liepzig (1894). He won the Monte Carlo (1903) tournament. After his fellow countryman Emanuel Lasker won the World Championship, the two players agreed to terms for a match to take place in autumn of 1904, but the negotiations collapsed after Tarrasch requested a postponement. A Lasker-Tarrasch World Championship Match (1908) eventually happened, but by then Tarrasch was nearly fifty years old, and he was defeated by the score of +3 -8 =5. Despite this loss, Tarrasch was held in high regard throughout his career for his contributions to opening theory.

Tarrasch was an editor for Deutsche Schachzeitung, and also published Die Modern Schachpartie and Three hundred Chess Games.

Lines from both the Queen's Gambit and the French Defense are named after him. He is known for a guideline in Rook endings that Rooks generally serve their best purpose behind passed pawns. Many of his theories on the principles of mobility and other aspects of positional play still stand as well, and today guide players of all levels of ability.

Notes: Siegbert played consultation chess on the teams of Tarrasch / Von Bardeleben / Von Scheve / Schotlaender and Tarrasch / Harmonist / Heidebreck.

Wikipedia article: Siegbert Tarrasch

 page 1 of 38; games 1-25 of 945  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves Year Event/LocaleOpening
1. Tarrasch vs Von Scheve 1-019 1879 BreslauB13 Caro-Kann, Exchange
2. Tarrasch vs Mendelson 1-039 1879 BreslauC51 Evans Gambit
3. Tarrasch vs F Riemann 0-118 1879 BreslauC67 Ruy Lopez
4. Tarrasch vs Mendelson 1-024 1879 BreslauB46 Sicilian, Taimanov Variation
5. Tarrasch vs A Schottlaender 1-022 1879 BreslauC80 Ruy Lopez, Open
6. Tarrasch vs Mendelson 1-026 1879 BreslauA00 Uncommon Opening
7. Tarrasch vs Mendelson 1-032 1879 BreslauC80 Ruy Lopez, Open
8. Tarrasch vs A Schottlaender 0-124 1879 BreslauC51 Evans Gambit
9. Tarrasch vs Mendelson 1-033 1879 BreslauC51 Evans Gambit
10. Von Scheve vs Tarrasch 0-115 1880 BreslauC31 King's Gambit Declined, Falkbeer Counter Gambit
11. Tarrasch vs Mendelson  1-024 1880 BreslauC49 Four Knights
12. Tarrasch vs Pribulsky 1-030 1880 BerlinC31 King's Gambit Declined, Falkbeer Counter Gambit
13. Tarrasch vs W Cohn 1-027 1880 matchC11 French
14. Tarrasch vs Vogt 1-024 1880 Breslau000 Chess variants
15. F Riemann vs Tarrasch 1-041 1880 BreslauC30 King's Gambit Declined
16. Tarrasch vs Landau 1-017 1880 white blindfoldedC55 Two Knights Defense
17. Tarrasch vs W Cohn  1-029 1880 matchB44 Sicilian
18. Tarrasch vs N Mannheimer 1-037 1880 BreslauC39 King's Gambit Accepted
19. Tarrasch vs N Mannheimer 1-027 1880 BreslauC55 Two Knights Defense
20. Tarrasch vs NN 1-011 1880 BerlinC50 Giuoco Piano
21. Tarrasch vs Mendelson 1-021 1880 BreslauC51 Evans Gambit
22. Tarrasch vs N Mannheimer 1-028 1880 BreslauC42 Petrov Defense
23. Tarrasch vs B Lasker 1-023 1880 BerlinC42 Petrov Defense
24. Mendelson vs Tarrasch  0-146 1880 BreslauC51 Evans Gambit
25. Von Scheve vs Tarrasch  0-130 1880 BresslauC30 King's Gambit Declined
 page 1 of 38; games 1-25 of 945  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Tarrasch wins | Tarrasch loses  

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Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Hi jnpope:,

I assume they give the score without the instructive Queen sac (Qf3). Any mention of it in the notes?

A possible scenario is in the old days it was common to give the whole games and then add the notes at the end.

So some lad noting up the Newman game mentions the Lee game in the notes.

"This is very similar to a game played a few months before. Pillsbury - Lee 1899. It is a pity Pillsbury missed 17.Qf3 Qxf3 18.Rg1+."

Or something along those lines.

To a foreign reader it appears like this.

xxxx x xxxx x xxx x xxxxx Pillsbury - Lee 1899 xxx xxxx x xxx 17.Qf3 Qxf3 18.Rg1+.

That may explain how the names got swapped and the bogus line added.

Don't laugh.

I did exactly that with a Russian magazine back in 1979 when I completely misunderstood what I was reading - it was a warning this is not good. (it was a 'sac this and sac that' line against the Polugaevsky Najdorf.)

I published the 'Bust' in my magazine 'CapaTal(sic) Chess.'

Ian Mullen, co-author of 'Blunder and Brilliancies' followed the line and had to scrounge a draw in a lost position v a 1600 player.

He was not too happy so we looked for improvements. I suggested a few tricks and traps and by pure fluke in my next tournament I played the same 1600 player.

So of course I played my line and I too had to scrounge a draw in a totally lost position.

True story, the names, dates and games are somewhere in an old 'CapaTal Chess.'

So it can happen, I know, I was that foreign lad.

Premium Chessgames Member
  jnpope: I did see some notes when I pulled the column out this morning, but I don't recall what they said. I'll scan the column tonight and add it to the Jack O'Keefe project at the Chess Archaeology website when I get home tonight.
Premium Chessgames Member
  jnpope: The game, without notes, can be found in the Chicago Tribune of 1900.05.06 also:
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <jnpope: The game, without notes, can be found in the Chicago Tribune of 1900.05.06 also:>...

Thanks, I guess that pretty much clinches it as far as authenticity is concerned. Interestingly, the correspondent describes Black's 19th (...Ne5) as "ill-considered," but he really doesn't have much of a choice with Qg4 coming up. Shredder couldn't think of a better move than 19....Qxg1 giving up the queen.

Mar-05-14  Penguincw: Happy Birthday to Siegbert Tarrasch! Too bad by the time he played Lasker, he was pretty much out of form. Would've been interesting to see him play just a few years earlier.
Premium Chessgames Member
  jnpope: I've uploaded January, 1902 of the North American to the CA website, there are only two notes to the Newman game by Kemeny, no mention of the Lee game:
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: Thanks again, <jnpope>.

The correspondent says that Pillsbury "saw" 17.Qf3 but preferred 17.Kd2.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Hi.

I discovered that Gossip and Lee had written a book 'The Complete Chess Player' published 1907.

Gossip has a cloud hanging over him as a writer (claims that he invented games he won. He denied this.) So I was thinking Lee may have showed him his game v Pillsbury, mentioned the blindfold game and Gossip mixed them up.

The Edinburgh Club of course had a copy but I found nothing. ('cept quite a few Gossip games mixed up amongst the brilliancies. Bit of a strange lad Gossip, cetainly a chess character.)

The club has every British Chess Magazine so I searched in them.

I may have found the seed that planted the error.

BCM 1902 page 343 has the blindfold Pillsbury - Newman game where Qf3 was not played.

He played 20 'good players' blindfold (Newman was the current club champion) W.14 D.5 L.1 it took 7 hours and 35 minutes.

BCM 1906 page 440 and a Mr.F.W. Marwick is discussing opening traps and gives the Lee game (no names).

Now here.

click for larger view

Lee in the OTB game played 10...Bxc6.
Newman (in the blindfold game) played 10...Rb8.

Mr. Marwick reaches here:

click for larger view

Which is the actual position from the Lee game and says White now wins a pawn to see how look at page 343 of the 1902 BCM.

So here we have a writer pointing his readers from the Lee game to the Newman game thinking it is the same game. A later writer may recognise the Lee game and reverse them by taking the moves from the Newman game and thinking it was Lee's game.

I looked through later editions of the BCM but could find nobody correcting him.

(BTW the BCM 1906 page 290 mentions that Dr Tarrasch treated Pillsbury for his illness adding 'so we believe'.)

The sequence of moves is classed as an opening trap.

I knew I had seen it before. The Newman game is trap no.111 in Znosko-Borovsky's 'Traps on the Chessboard.' published in 1938. The cute win is given in the notes but again no names.

'Traps on the Chessboard.' is an updated version of 'Pitfalls on the Chessboard' by Grieg published 1910. I have the 1920 edition and the Pillsbury - Newman game with Qf3 is in the notes is on page 47 again no names.

BCM 1955 has a review for the 'Art of Checkmate' which is where the names of Lee and Newman have been swapped over and the cute finished added.

The reviewer (B.H.) likes the book but finds one error.

The call Blackburne 'James Harry Blackburne. His name was 'Joseph Henry Blackburne'

(where did they get 'James Harry' from? find that and you may find Pillsbury - Lee game that never happened.)

The reviewer adds after spotting the mistake something very apt.

"Errors once recorded in Chess Literature have an unhappy knack of multiplying."

That is the 4th error I know about in this book. See:

Where they mix up 'Havana' with 'Hanover'.

They also give Blackburn's dates of birth and death wrong. 1842-1926 according to them. 1841 – 1924 according to everyone else.

So looking for who started this off we might have to look no further than the authors of 'The Art of Checkmate' themselves.

I'm going to give 'The Art of Checkmate' a good going over, if I find two more errors then that's it I'm blaming them for messing about. James Harry Blackburne is a needless blunder. They call a Checkmate after him and yet fail to get his name DOB and DOD correct.

Anyone else who has a copy feel free to join in.

Edinburgh's first team were clinching the league title 6-0 in a match at the club. When the games were finished I stopped looking and have just come back from the pub helping them celebrate. A good night.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: See above.

Nursing a sight hangover I lay in bed comparing the 'Art of Checkmate' with the 'The Oxford Companion to Chess.'.

The Art/Mate has the Dufresne, Reti and ex-World Champion Em Lasker passing away dates wrong.

I stop looking after finding Lasker.(there maybe more in the book) These lads have been looking at another source, it's not their fault. (who really checks birth/death dates when noting up a game. I never - infact I'd only use them if it was relevant.)

They give the wrong date for 'The Evergreen' played between Anderssen and Dufresne. They give 1854 it was 1852. (game No.29)

Stopped looking for more errors.

Any evidence of tinkering and tampering?

Exercise No.28.
They admit altering the position in Golmayo - Loyd, Paris 1867.

C Golmayo vs Loyd, 1867

So the mate in 8 works. David2009 in the above link actually mentions the book in question in it's original title "L'art de faire mat" (I wonder if were can attribute any of these errors to the translator.)

Interesting is this bit in Mate No.9 Pillsbury - Wolf Monte Carlo 1903.

Pillsbury vs H Wolf, 1903

This position appeared Pillsbury to play.

click for larger view

Pillsbury played 27.Qxb6

Sergeant and Watts give this move !! and the game picked up a Brillo Prize.

Renaud & Kahn correctly point out the two missed forced mates in 5 with 27.e6 or 27.Ne6.

They also give the source. an amateur player James G. Bruce in The American Chess Weekly in 1903.

So it would appear they did some research. But I'm wondering if this Bruce lad also stumbled across Qf3 in the Newman game, mentioned it and a wee bit of tinkering has taken place.

It's still a good book with for the student, loads of good examples. On the whole I tend to roll with printing error but trying to dig out where the Pillsbury - Lee blunder came from was all good fun.

I like blundering hunting and speculating. I hit upon loads of other things whilst searching and have picked up a dozen ideas for future columns. (which is one reason for the quest, I knew I'd stumble across other interesting things.)


One day someone will write the history of Chess Computers and their rise in strength,

All they need do is look at some of the Kibitzing on here and date it. As time goes on the variations on here get longer and longer and more complex.

But there again maybe not because very often during 'their discovery' the name of computer used is never mentioned.

Just an off-topic observation.

Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: Pretty incredible. Pillsbury did see both lines.

thanks to all (Sally Simpson, keypusher, jnpope) who unearthed this.

And Dr Tarrasch too, for allowing this on his page.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Hi Tamar,

Sure Tarrasch would not mind too much seeing as it came from one of his disciples (though yes, a tad over-posted)

And of course if I can drop something instructive from the errors then I'm sure the great teacher would nod.

Like a kid playing with a very old toy I started going through this book again.

Nit-Picking 'The Art of Chekmate' No.17 (I've lost count.)

Exercise No. 3 (Maroczy v Unknown 'About 1904')

click for larger view

White to play and mate in two.

No mistake here because as in the book the White King is missing from the diagram.

Nit-picking for the sake of nit-picking? Not at all, we can use this as a double puzzle. So White to play.

1) Find the mate in two.

2) Now Place the White King on the board where it is not in check so there is no mate in two moves.

Mar-07-14  Nosnibor: <Sally Simpson> Just for the record the blindfold game betwee Pillsbury and Newman is number 197 in "Pillsbury`s Chess Career".
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Hi Nosnibor

Correct, I hit a typo ('0' instead of '9') It is game 197. I called it game No.107.

This whole game cursed!

Premium Chessgames Member
  Castleinthesky: Nimzovitch was 24 and Tarrasch wsa 52 at the time this game was played.
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: Nimzo was 27, not 24.
Sep-01-14  Mr. V: A general question: Who, of all today's players, plays most like Siegbert Tarrasch?
Sep-01-14  john barleycorn: < Mr. V: A general question: Who, of all today's players, plays most like Siegbert Tarrasch?>

Judged by his vanity, self-esteem and result against the reigning champion - I would say Nakamura.

Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: There's not many players today you can count on to respond to 1. e4 with either e5 or e6.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: It should be noted, however, that Naka's play is anything but dogmatic; moreover, even the Praeceptor Germaniae took up the cudgel and adopted the hypermodern methods on occasion, one being his last meeting with his great rival: Lasker vs Tarrasch, 1923.
Sep-01-14  john barleycorn: <perfidious> as Tartakower put it, Tarrasch was re-learning at that time and less dogmatic in practical play than in his teachings.
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: <Number of games in database: 945... > ... <46 exhibition games, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic>

So his book 300 Chess Games contains one third of all the games he ever played.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: True, on the assumption that all the games in Dreihundert Schachpartien were serious contests and not in the nature of the exceptions noted above.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Karpova: By winning Manchester (1890), Tarrasch became the first German since Adolf Anderssen to win a great chess event in England.

The Havana Chess Club invited him to a match against Wilhelm Steinitz. The physician probably won't play due to lack of time, considering his profession.

Tarrasch was born in Breslau (today Wrocław, Poland) like his great predecessor Anderssen. At the age of 18, he graduated from the <Elisabethgymnasium>. He then moved to Berlin, where he studied medicine. He found enough opportunities to practice chess, e. g. the Berlin Chess Congress (1881) <Hauptturnier>. After passing the <Tentamen physicum>, he continued to study medicine in Halle. In 1883, he won 1st prize as a representative of the Halle Chess Club in the Nuremberg <Hauptturnier>. This allowed him to participate in <Meisterturnieren> of the German Chess Federation. In 1885, he earned a doctoral degree, passed the medical state examination, and still managed to participate in the <Meisterturnier> of the Hamburg Chess Congress. He shared 2nd-6th place there, after a crude blunder in the decisive game against Joseph Henry Blackburne.

Already earlier, in June 1885, Tarrasch had excelled at Blindfold play in Ströbeck.

He settled in Geroldsgrün near Hof (Germany) and worked as a physician. Together with his wife (née Rudolf, from Hof) he had 3 children. He then moved to Nuremberg. At the Frankfurt Chess Congress (1887), he shared 5th place. In 1888, he won the Nuremberg Chess Congress. But then he came in last at the Jubilee tournament of the Augustea Chess Club in Leipzig in the same year.

In 1889, he won the <Meisterturnier> of the German Chess Federation in Breslau without losing a single game. At Manchester (1890), he also remained undefeated. He became the true successor of Anderssen.

His play is characterized as much by unshakeable certainty and tranquility, as by force and impact when attacking. In the latest tournaments, Tarrasch became stronger in the course of the contest.

It's notable, especially considering recent events involving other masters, that Tarrasch exhibits classy chivalry. This also turns him into a role model for the young.

Source: Albert Heyde, Deutsches Wochenschach, 12 October 1890, issues 40/41, pp. 337-339

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Superb post Karpova.

"By winning Manchester (1890), Tarrasch became the first German since Adolf Anderssen to win a great chess event in England."

It was Tarrasch's manner of winning and reporting of this event that most likely turned the English press against him. Not in bitter way but in a more subdued way.

His wins and tournament success's were watered down in the notes whilst others players victories invited the writer to shoot off in Dicksonian prose and flowery comments.

It took them 100 years to get around to tranlating his 300 games and I am still waiting for the 'Die moderne Schachpartie' to be come out in English.

His, to Victorian England, apparently gloating report on the victory won him few friends.

This was at a time when BCM was just getting used to printing the name of the loser. Often all you saw Mr.K_. or Mr S_.

But it was Tarrasch insistance in playing on v Blackburne that did it.

The tournament was over, Tarrasch had won it. The crowd/organisers were expecting (and asking) Tarrasch to allow Blackburne to bow out with a draw in the last adjourned game. Tarrasch was so far ahead even if he lost he would still win the tournament.

But no. Tarrasch explained winning the tournment meant nothing unless he could beat 'Old England himself' (Blackburne).

So an extra day was added to play the adjourned game and in Tarrasch's words Blackburne could have saved himself some embarrasment by not turning up. Tarrasch won the adjourned position fairly easily.

Tarrasch vs Blackburne, 1890

Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: From Grandmasters Of Chess pg 123:

<"Dr Tarrasch's strength or weakness -if one likes- is his pronounced amour propre.

Without it he would have been a very mediocre chess player; gifted [with self love] to an abnormal degree he has become a giant.

His amour propre is such that he must excel in something.

Chess was, as it were, the easier medium for him to choose, and he is very fond of chess, therefore, but most particularly of his own chess."

~ Emanuel Lasker ~

Lasker's Chess Magazine

January 1906 issue.>

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